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Dick Marty: Natalia Estemirova's murderers have still not been punished

Dick Marty, rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the human rights situation in the North Caucasus, has pointed out that the murderers of Natalia Estemirova, a member of Russian NGO Memorial, in Chechnya on 14 July 2009 have so far escaped punishment.

"The Russian authorities must do everything possible to achieve justice in this emblematic case, as well as in others such as the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, so as to send a clear signal that the cycle of abuse and impunity will no longer be tolerated in the Chechen Republic. There is a vital need as well for an efficient and transparent investigation of alleged consent, or even complicity, by certain authorities, in order to restore people's trust in their institutions. Without such trust, there can be no effective fight against terrorism and extremism."
Dick Marty presented a report on the human rights situation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in June. A few days before her murder, Natalia Estemirova had been invited by Mr Marty to address the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights in September 2009.